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Erasmus Exchanges

A year or semester studying abroad is one of the highlights of a student's Trinity experience, and immersing oneself in the language and culture is also one of the most valuable ways of achieving fluency when you are studying a language. Single Honors students have a compulsory third year of study abroad and other students are encouraged to spend a year or a semester in their third year in one of our partner universities.


Joint Honor students intending to undertake an Erasmus exchange may do so, either in their Senior Freshman (for a full academic year) or in their Junior Sophister year (MT only).


An information meeting will take place early in Hilary Term during which the Erasmus coordinator, Dr Hanrahan, will outline the application process. Intending Erasmus students are required to obtain at least a 2.2 result (50% or more) in French at the first examination session preceding their intended departure. Other departments have different requirements and you must satisfy the requirements of each department in order to go on a year abroad.


Students in the French department can go on Erasmus to France through the French department, but also through another TSM department, provided that department has a partner university in France. For example, students of English, History, Classics and History of Art often go on Erasmus to France through those departments, rather than through French. Your choice will be based on the university you wish to attend and the options available in your other TSM subject.

In general terms, students should aim to do in the host university what they would have done at home. This does not mean that students must perform exactly the same exercises, or study exactly the same authors. It does mean that they should study a balanced combination of language and content courses (literature, history of ideas or French linguistics). Irrespective of the department you go through, you will study both TSM subjects equally while abroad if you are in TSM Pattern B.


A year’s work is defined in terms of ECTS (European Credit Transfer Units). A full year’s work is normally 60 ECTS. Since TSM courses are composed of two equally weighted courses, this would represent 30 ECTS per subject. In order to take account of the fact that you will be studying in a foreign environment, students must obtain 45 ECTS (22.5 ECTS per subject), although for safety, we suggest students take 30 ECTS in French. A student who does not obtain 45 ECTS will not normally be allowed to rise with his/her year and will be required to take repeat examinations in the host university. The precise split between language and non-language courses will vary from institution to institution, but both should figure prominently, and language should count for at least 10 ECTS, except by specific agreement with the French Department. Further information on Erasmus can be found on the Trinity Study Abroad website.


Students are generally expected to select options appropriate to their year. Second-year students should take second-year courses and third-year students should take third-year courses. There is no objection to students taking a course above their equivalent year (second-year students taking third-year courses) but students should be aware that this comprises an element of risk, should they not be successful in assessments. However, JS students may well find third-year translation courses in France too advanced for their level, and by agreement with the Department, may then be advised to take a lower level course.

The courses selected by students should be courses intended for and available to full-time students in the host university, and NOT special courses designed for Socrates or Erasmus students, except by special, specific and prior arrangement with the French Department. This does not apply, however, to French grammar courses designed for incoming Erasmus students, which students are encourage to take.


Students are required to submit themselves to the assessment provided by the host university. This may take the form of examination or continuous assessment, or any combination of the two. In order that the ECTS should count, students must be successful in their assessments. As a precaution, students should bring their marks with them on their return. However, only officially returned marks from the host institution can be counted at the end of the year. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain the dates and location of examinations, and failure to present for examinations will lead to a loss of credit.


The French Department Erasmus Co-ordinator is Dr James Hanrahan, Room 4107, Arts Building, email: hanrahaj@tcd.ie